The Council of Europe’s Landscape Convention is 21 years old.
The European Landscape Convention was the first international treaty on sustainable development based on the relationship between the needs of society, economic activity, the environment and culture. Its purpose has been to promote and encourage the protection of landscape, through sustainable management and the planning of European landscapes.
The Convention established an integrated landscape perspective for a more sustainable relationship between environment and society. It recognises the importance of all landscapes, and not just those of exceptional beauty, as having a crucial bearing on quality of life. It applies to all types of rural, urban and peri-urban areas, including land, inland water and marine areas. It relates to those of outstanding beauty as well as degraded landscapes.
In the context of changing issues around climate change, food and energy security, wellbeing, public health (e.g., pandemics) and biodiversity loss protecting landscape is now more central in societal and political agendas. So discussion and debate has turned to the Future of the European Landscape and its governance, protection, planning and management of European landscapes. A Manifesto recommending policy support actions and measures for landscape has been developed by UNISCAPE, the European Network of Universities for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention, and signed by GeoLand project partner EUROGEO.